Highlands and Islands SNP MSP Rob Gibson has welcomed a Scottish Government grant to cheese makers in Easter Ross. Mr Gibson was commenting after it was announced that Tain based Highland Fine Cheeses, received a Food Processing, Marketing and Co-Operative (FPMC) Grants totaling £150,046.
Mr Gibson said….
"Highland fine cheeses rightly have a reputation for excellence, and this grant from the Scottish Government is a recognition of that excellence. The company is part of a highly regarded network of producers in the Highlands and Islands which produces some of the best food and drink in the world."
"I congratulate the family run firm on their success so far and hope that this money will help them go from strength to strength."
"Small producers such as highland fine cheeses are what helps makes the area unique. I am glad that the SNP Scottish Government have recognised this and are backing up our small rural producers in this way."
Mr Gibson also welcomed figures which show that retail sales of Scottish food and drink brands across Scotland, Englandand Wales have increased by a massive 30 per cent during the past three years, increasing the value of sales by £425 million.
In Scotland, sales of Scottish food and drink brands increased 22 percent over the same period (May 2007 - May 2010), demonstrating Scotland's strength as a food and drink retailer in a highly competitive market.
He said that the figures were testament to the positive work that the Scottish Government are doing in supporting Scottish food and drink producers across the country.
Notes to editor
Statistics: This is the second year the Scottish Government Rural and Environment Research and Analysis Directorate (RERAD) has purchased and analysed sales data on Scottish Food and Drink brands from Kantar Worldpanel. This data shows retail sales of all Scottish food and drink brands significant enough to be registered with Kantar, the leading provider of consumer panels into shoppers' purchase and usage behaviour.
May 2007 to May 2010:
In Great Britain, sales of Scottish food and drink brands over the period May 2007 to May 2010 grew by 30%, an increase of #425m. In Scotland, sales of Scottish food and drink brands over the period May 2007 to May 2010 grew by 22%, an increase of #99m.
May 2009 to May 2010:
In Great Britain, sales of Scottish food and drink brands over the period May 2009 to May 2010 grew by 8%, an increase of #128m. In Scotland, sales of Scottish food and drink brands over the period May 2009 to May 2010 grew by less than 1%, an increase of #2m.
FPMC: The Food Processing, Marketing and Co-operation (FPMC) Grant Scheme was launched in March 2008. The scheme is part of Scotland's Rural Development Programme and will run until 2013. The scheme is competitive and includes three elements:
Capital Grants: Provides for assistance towards the construction of buildings and purchase of plant and equipment.
Non-capital Grants: Provides for assistance with a range of projects including market research and consultancy, product development and consumer education material.
Co-operation Grants: Provides for support to aid co-operation, collaboration and development within the food chain.